I’m a huge Robert Munsch fan and was excited to read this version of Mud Puddle. It’s adapted from Munsch’s original classic to make it more accessible to early readers. There are currently several Munsch Early Readers available and I’m sure you’ll want to add this one to your collection!
Read on for a review and some fun story extensions.
Robert Munch, Dusan Petricic
Annick Press, September 6/22
This is a version of the well-loved Munsch classic, Mud Puddle, re-written in an early reader format. The story is the same as the original, but the text has been simplified to make it more accessible to young readers.
If you’re not already familiar with Mud Puddle, it’s a very funny story about a mud puddle that repeatedly jumps on Jule Ann. After several baths Jule Ann figures out a way to stop the naughty mud puddle in its tracks!
At the start of the book there’s a “before reading” list of four high frequency words, a character introduction, a character spotlight, a description of compound words and a phonics section with the focus on “m”. The back of the book includes some “Getting Ready for Reading Tips”. I think parents and teachers will find all those sections very useful.
This early reader features a new illustrator. Petricic’s illustrations are lovely and expressive, but just a heads-up that they’re not the same as Sami Suomalainen’s illustrations in the original classic.
Jule Ann put on her clean new shirt and her clean pants. Then she went outside and sat under a tree.
Why I Love Mud Puddle:
There are lots of reasons to love this book, but what I like the most is Jule Ann’s ridiculous situation with the attacking mud puddle. It’s very funny! And I also love that Jule Ann uses her problem-solving skills to figure out how to get rid of the mud puddle. As in all the Munsch books, the kid characters are the heroes!
I also like that the text has lots of repetition and pictures on every page, which is important for early readers.
My only tiny quibble is that at the back of the book it says “…perfect for emergent readers ready for reading by themselves…”
I taught Grade 1 for 25 years and using the word “emergent” here is confusing. The children who will be able to read this book are no longer emergent readers. I’d replace the word “emergent” for “young”.
The readers who will benefit the most from this book are those who have a pretty solid reading vocabulary but need more practice with fluency, expression and the occasional sight word.
Thank you very much to NetGalley and Annick Press for the advanced readers copy!
There are some ideas at the back of the book for extending the story, but here are some more…
“M” WORD SEARCH
You know how much I like making word searches. There are seven “m” words in the book that are highlighted in green and repeated several times throughout the story. I took those words and made this word search.
DOWNLOAD: Mud Puddle Word Search
Kids could work in pairs to brainstorm a different ending to the story. Is there another way the mud puddle could be defeated? Encourage your students to illustrate their ending OR act it out for the class. That would be lots of fun!
MAKE MUDDY MAGIC POTIONS
Do you remember doing that as a kid? I do and it was SO much fun.
Give everyone a cup and go outside and find some dirt and a stirring stick. Add a little water to make some mud and then go for a short walk to find things to add to your cup for your own very special potion. Things like flowers, weeds, seeds, and little pebbles will work. You could bring out a bit of liquid and paint and soap and add those as well. Maybe even some vinegar and baking soda.
Keep it outdoors and keep it loose and fun. The kids will have a blast.
Afterwards, if excitement is still high, you could encourage your students to write a recipe for their magic potion.
That’s it! I hope you enjoyed the review and the suggested activities.